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LTU honors grads at 92nd Commencement

Release Date: May 7, 2022
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Commencement 2022 gets under way at LTU's Don Ridler Field House.
LTU photo / Matt Roush

SOUTHFIELD—Nearly 500 Lawrence Technological University students became LTU’s newest alumni in two Commencement ceremonies Saturday.

Commencement speaker Dr. Abdul El-Sayed—physician and progressive political activist—inspired the audience by telling the story of how his how his family’s ambition and curiosity led to their rise from poverty in Egypt. Each LTU graduate, he said, has that same spark of ambition, and “all of us here can’t wait to see what your spark will turn into.”

 “Today isn’t just the end of something, it’s the commencement of something bigger,” El-Sayed said. “We cannot wait to live in the world you will build.”

El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, educator, author, speaker, podcast host, and publisher of The Incision newsletter. He was also a 2018 Michigan gubernatorial candidate. He is a regular commentator on TV news networks and has published three books, including “Healing Politics” and “Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide,” with Dr. Micah Johnson.

In his presentations, El-Sayed noted that the Class of 2022 overcame the challenges of the pandemic—and that while they lost on-campus experiences students always took for granted, the coronavirus “has equipped you with some extraordinary abilities—you have knowledge and technical skills that most people don’t.” Blending profundity, hope, and humor, he referenced Spider-Man at one point, saying, “I don’t want to go all Peter Parker on you, but with gifts, (come) responsibilities.”

He also noted that the pandemic created skepticism of science—which can only be solved by teaching people what science is really all about. “’Trust the science’ is an oxymoron,” he said. Science only advances by being questioned and challenged by new generations of scientists. And when it comes to technical advances, he also counseled the graduates to not just ask “can we?” but also to ask “should we?”

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Commencement keynote speaker Abdul El-Sayed during his inspiring presentation.
LTU photo / Matt Roush

Presiding over his first Commencement, LTU President Tarek Sobh told the graduates that “education and experience help refine our skills and define ourselves. You have had challenges during your time here at Lawrence Tech and you have risen to the challenge and become stronger and wiser. You will now carry that strength and wisdom wherever you go.

Sobh added: “You have learned interdisciplinary concepts. These will prepare you for your future careers and allow you to see how diverse concepts can be connected. This foundation will lead you down different roads of discovery. You have started on your journey to making the future better for yourself, your family, and the world at large. This is your moment. Congratulations!”

At the 1 p.m. ceremony, LTU conferred a doctorate degree, honoris causa, on Daniel Winey. Winey earlier earned three degrees from LTU—a Bachelor of Science in architecture in 1974, a Bachelor of Architecture in 1975, and a Master of Architecture in 2015. Winey has spent the past 30-plus years with the San Francisco-based global architectural firm Gensler, rising from studio director to COO, and working for the firm worldwide. He has helped the firm establish offices throughout the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand, India and Australia. In recent years, Winey was responsible for rebuilding offices in Dubai and the Abu Dhabi. He provided leadership for some of Gensler’s most important projects, including the Shanghai Tower, a vertical city and the tallest building in China. He is passionate about designing livable cities, sustainable buildings, and the principles of sustainable urbanization.

Also at the 1 p.m. ceremony, LTU also bestowed its highest alumni honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, on Shannon Dare Wayne, who earned a Bachelor of Science in industrial management from LTU in 1998 and a Master of Science in industrial operations in 2003. She has worked for Ford Motor Co. for 25 years and is currently the budget manager for vehicle embedded software and connectivity. Previously, she worked in planning and strategy for the Middle East and Africa region. Dare Wayne also was recently elected to Milan City Council and will serve the second half of her term as Mayor Pro Tem. Dare Wayne also chairs the advisory board of LTU’s A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical, Robotics, and Industrial Engineering, and is a member of the global industry advisory board of the Industrial Engineering Operations Management Society International.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony, LTU conferred the Alumni Achievement Award, on Michael Darga, who earned a Bachelor of Science in construction engineering from LTU in 1985, helped design Ford Motor Co.’s green redevelopment of its Rouge Plant, and worked on the first protected bike lanes in the city of Detroit. He has presented at many national conferences, sharing his perspective on stormwater management and innovative paving techniques with the American Concrete Paving Association.

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Family and friends gather to congratulate the class of 2022.
LTU photo / Matthieu Maracle

LTU also honored Andrea Houck of South Lyon and Juan Jaramillo of Windsor, Ontario as winners of LTU’s 2021-2022 Edward Donley Distinguished Graduate Award. Houck graduated Saturday with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and mathematics, and Juan Jaramillo of Windsor, Ontario, a December 2021 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering. Houck plans to pursue a PhD in medical physics, while Jaramillo is now working for a Canadian medical device manufacturer. Donley Award winners are selected by the LTU Alumni Association Board of Directors. The awards recognize not only academic achievement, but also participation in campus activities, employment while a student, and involvement in professional associations and the community.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

LTU RECOGNITIONS OF EXCELLENCE

Forbes Top 10% of U.S. Universities
Princeton Review Nation's Green Colleges
Tpp 10 percent, 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings